© 2018

Converso Non-Conformism in Early Modern Spain

Bad Blood and Faith from Alonso de Cartagena to Diego Velázquez


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Kevin Ingram
    Pages 1-10
  3. Kevin Ingram
    Pages 11-49
  4. Kevin Ingram
    Pages 51-89
  5. Kevin Ingram
    Pages 91-116
  6. Kevin Ingram
    Pages 117-177
  7. Kevin Ingram
    Pages 225-241
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 243-370

About this book


This book examines the effects of Jewish conversions to Christianity in late medieval Spanish society. Ingram focuses on these converts and their descendants (known as conversos) not as Judaizers, but as Christian humanists, mystics and evangelists, who attempt to create a new society based on quietist religious practice, merit, and toleration. His narrative takes the reader on a journey from the late fourteenth-century conversions and the first blood purity laws (designed to marginalize conversos), through the early sixteenth-century Erasmian and radical mystical movements, to a Counter-Reformation environment in which conversos become the advocates for pacifism and concordance. His account ends at the court of Philip IV, where growing intolerance towards Madrid’s converso courtiers is subtly attacked by Spain’s greatest painter, Diego Velázquez, in his work, Los Borrachos. Finally, Ingram examines the historiography of early modern Spain, in which he argues the converso reform phenomenon continues to be underexplored.


Socio-religious reform Fifteenth century, sixteenth century, seventeenth century Diego Velazquez Spanish history Pure blood legislation Humanism Judaism Christianity Nation-building

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Division of HumanitiesSaint Louis UniversityMadridSpain

About the authors

Kevin Ingram is Professor of History at Saint Louis University, Madrid Campus, Spain.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Converso Non-Conformism in Early Modern Spain
  • Book Subtitle Bad Blood and Faith from Alonso de Cartagena to Diego Velázquez
  • Authors Kevin Ingram
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-93235-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-40430-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-93236-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XX, 370
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 12 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Early Modern Europe
    History of Religion
    Cultural History
    Political History
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Converso Non-Conformism in Early Modern Spain: Bad Blood and Faith sets out to account for the experience of those Spanish Jews, perhaps one-third of the total Spanish Jewish population, who converted to Catholicism after the Reconquista. … An outstanding study of its subject, Converso Non-Conformism in Early Modern Spain looks to be advancing an agenda setting argument.” (Crawford Gribben, New Books network,, February 07, 2019)